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Chateau Leoville Barton

 

Chateau Leoville Barton

Saint Julien

 

Location: Chateau Leoville Barton lies between the towns of Beychevelle and Saint Julien, the estate's few buildings sit directly on the vineyard road, and the vineyards lie just to its west.

Size: 106 acres (48 hectares) producing 15,000 to 20,000 cases depending on the vintage.

Classification: Second growth. This property was an average performing second growth (which is not all bad) until the 1980s when Anthony Barton took control of the property management. Since then the property has steadily improved in quality and is now a definite 'Super Second' and one of the top chateaux in Bordeaux.

Vineyard: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 0% Cabernet Franc. This planting mix has evolved over the years since Anthony Barton took over the management of the Leoville Barton. The percentage of Merlot has increased from about 15% in the 1970s and Cabernet Franc has disappeared.

Vinification:  Traditional techniques -- fermented in wooded vats and aged in oak barrels for 18 months. Each year, 50% of the barrels are replaced with new ones. All the winemaking takes place at Leoville Barton's neighboring sister property, Chateau Langoa Barton, which has the same ownership and follows the same winemaking regimen

History: Chateau Leoville Barton is the third (and smallest) piece of the famous trio of Saint Julien properties that 200 years ago formed one estate (Chateau Leoville)  belonging to Alexandre de Gasq. It has been the property of the illustrious Barton family since 1836. Leoville Barton has no actual house or winery, so the wine is made and bottled at the Barton's neighboring property, Chateau Langoa-Barton. That comes as something of a surprise to many people, but the term 'Chateau' actually refers to the vineyard property and does not require the builidngs that are often associated with the term.

The Barton Family has been involved in the Bordeaux wine trade since 1723 when the Irishman, Hugh Barton began a trade in the region and joined with Daniel Guestier in 1725 to found the negociant firm of Barton & Guestier. Chateau Langoa Barton was purchased a few years earlier than Leoville Barton by Thomas Barton. Both chateaux are still owned by the Barton family today.

Anthony Barton took over ownership and management of the properties from his uncle Ronald Barton in 1983. Under Anthony's oversight, both properties dramatically improved in quality from the position of average performers for thier classification to being consistently, very highly rated. Anthony has recently passed ownership to the next generation (his daughter, Liliane) but he remains involved in both properties.
A new chai (winemaking facility) was put in place at Langoa Barton by Anthony in the mid-1980s. Unlike many facilities that were built in the 1970s and 1980s in Bordeaux, the traditional wood fermenting vats were retained rather than replaced by stainless steel vats.

Style: A high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon makes this a rich and fruity wine with classic Saint Julien cassis-like flavor. In the top vintages, Chateau Leoville Barton is best about 15 years after the vintage.

Food: Serve with lamb, beef or roasted chicken dishes.

33250 Saint~Julien - France
Tel. 33 5 56 59 06 05
Fax. 33 5 56 59 14 29

Since 1994, this property often competes for the position of 'Best Bordeaux of the Vintage'.